As a woman, more often than not I find it hard to say “No.” Especially as a Christian woman. I find within me this need to constantly and continually please those around me. It is what Christ would want, right?
“Can you do me a favor?”
“I have an appointment, can you_______ for me so I can leave early?”
“Would you mind calling ______ for me and asking her _______?”
“Do you think you can take the snacks to the game for me tomorrow?”
Yes, yes, yes,and yes.
Are we required as Christians to say yes to everyone, even to ourselves? To go to each event, to cook for every person who is sick, to lead every youth activity we come across, to have the cleanest house, and to volunteer our home for every get together?
When we go, go, go, and do, do, do.
When we run around nonstop and don’t have time for a bathroom break.
When our saying yes to someone is spoken through clenched teeth and a fake smile.
When making sure our home is spotless begins to take away from food fights with our family.
When our health is affected.
When we can’t remember how long it has been since we last sat with the Lord.
When people begin to abuse us or run all over us…
That is when it becomes a problem. We begin performing our worst and saying yes only because we feel obligated. During those times, we either do our job half-way or we do it head on, leaving us tired and useless to those who need us most.
We also suffer consequences when we do more than we should. Feeling this need to say yes..to others or even to ourselves all the time can cause us to miss out on the important things in life.
Imagine with me a scene. Two sisters hear a visitor is coming. One is running around frantic and cleaning, baking, cleaning, stirring, cleaning, chopping, and so on. The guest arrives. She continues her preparations. (Saying “yes” to that voice in her head telling her she has to get this all done to impress.)
The other sister decides to spend time with this important guest. She talks to Him and gives her full attention to Him. The other sister sees this and thinks…huh..she sees me doing all this work and doesn't even lift a finger…some sister. The guest notices “yes sisters” frantic frustration and tells her that she is so worried over pettiness that she is missing out on a great time of fellowship. (Luke 10:38-42)
Is saying yes with a tired mind and body or a burdened heart really honoring God?
Psalm 139 1:4
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
God knows our true thoughts before we open our mouth. He knows our real attitude before we begin our “yes” duty. He knows that the “yes” results in the end are going to cause more harm than good when we are really thinking no because we are worn down and give out.
This is an important lesson I have been learning over the past three years. The first two years of saying no when I knew I needed to really bothered me. I didn't want to offend or make someone not like me anymore. I even had several relapses and found myself back on the yes wagon until consequences began creeping in again.
Within the last 6-8 months my yes’s still outweigh my no’s…but 9 times out of 10 …they are healthy yes’s. They are healthy because I say no when I really know I need to. When I do that; my heart, my health and my full attention is available for that special yes moment. I have even gotten to the point where I don't feel the need anymore to offer a reason why not.
Recognizing when an unhealthy “Yes” is hurting our Spiritual relationship or personal relationship and trusting “No” will be okay, benefits not only those most important to us…but in the end it also makes us healthier.
Are you a woman who has learned to say no when you feel you need to? Can you say no guiltlessly?
If you are a constant Yes woman…what can you say no to this week?